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  • World Briefs – Nuzman, Hickey Win Reelection, Ski Jumping Lawsuit, Chinese Athletes Raise Money for Quake


    10/03/08

    Patrick Hickey approaches his final term with Olympic Council of Ireland. (ATR)
    Patrick Hickey Heads to Final Term in Ireland

    Olympic Council of Ireland President Patrick Hickey is on his way to what will be his final term in office. As nominations closed Oct. 2, Hickey was the only candidate for the election set for Oct. 31 in Dublin. He was first elected in 1990.

    "It's the right time to step down, after London," Hickey told Around the Rings.

    "The London Olympics will be the closest thing we have in Ireland to a home Games," he said, indicating a desire to have a hand in preparing the Irish team for 2012.

    "But after London, I want to pass on the baton to a new generation at the Olympic Council of Ireland," he said.

    But just as he sees an end coming to his NOC leadership, Hickey wants to expand his role as a member of the IOC. He said he will be seeking one of the three Executive Board seats up for election at the IOC Session next October in Copenhagen.

    Hickey is also president of the European Olympic Committees, a post he's held since 2001, succeeding Jacques Rogge when he was elected IOC president.

    Carlos Arthur Nuzman Wins Reelection

    The Olympic Committee of Brazil has re-elected Carlos Arthur Nuzman as president. The vote held Oct. 2 in Rio de Janeiro also confirmed André Gustavo Richer as vice president. Nuzman was first elected COB president in 1995. Both were unopposed.

    Carlos Nuzman will serve a fourth term as Brazilian Olympic Committee president. (ATR)
    Since then he has become one of the busiest men in the Olympic Movement in the Americas. Nuzman, 66, is one of Brazil's two IOC members and is head of the bid from Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. From 2001 to 2007 he led the organizing committee for the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    In a statement issued after his reelection, Nuzman said his greatest satisfaction has come from the success of Brazilian Olympians since he took office. Brazil won 15 medals at the Beijing Olympics.

    "The qualitative improvement of Brazilian sports in recent years is the result, among other reasons, of the work of COB with national federations. We are ready and enthusiastic to work even harder to develop Brazilian sports."

    Ski Jumping Lawsuit Takes a Turn

    Zoya Lynch, a 17 year old from Calgary, has become the first member of the Canadian women's ski jumping team to join a lawsuit aimed at forcing VANOC to allow a women's competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

    Lynch, with her mother Sarah and lawyer Ross Clark at her side, said Wednesday that she was not representing her teammates or Ski Jumping Canada, but "I'm here as a Canadian citizen, standing up for my rights."

    Nine female ski jumpers from six countries were named as plaintiffs in a B.C. Supreme Court statement of claim filed against VANOC on May 21. The only Canadian was retired jumper Marie-Pierre Morin of Rockland, Ont.

    Advocates for including women's ski jump speak at a rally earlier this year in Vancouver. (ATR)
    "This whole thing has definitely made me question the Canadian Charter of Rights," Lynch said. "As a woman I have the right to compete at the Olympics in Canada. I feel like they have the power to allow me to do that."

    No trial date has been set in the matter and examination for discovery has not started. VANOC's defense statement said the plaintiffs sued the wrong party because the decision to exclude women from ski jumping in 2010 was made by the IOC, which admitted only skicross when it considered the 2010 sport menu in late 2006.

    Busan World Forum Releases Action Plan

    An ambitious action plan for the future has been released by the 6th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture. Working on the theme, "Sport and Education for the Now Generation," the Forum's presentations and discussions centered on how to make sport and education more accessible for the world's youth.

    After being addressed by former youth athletes, the Forum resolved that the IOC, Olympic Movement and UNESCO should work together to ensure that governments require physical education as part of the normal curriculum. They also urged NOCs to consider establishing programs that would assist athletes with obtaining their first academic degrees.

    The group also strongly suggested that more funding and emphasis be given to the Culture Olympiads. One suggestion was that the host nation gives these events as much publicity as possible
    Skier Manuela Di Centa was one of many athletes to address attendees at the 6th World Forum in Busan. (Getty Images)
    and that they be ongoing instead of tied to a particular Games.

    For the Olympic Congress, to be held in Copenhagen in 2009, the attendees urged the IOC to continue the discussion with youth by inviting young people to the Congress.

    "Today, when someone asks me which of my Olympic medals I won is the most important for me…, I can only reply: 'it is not a single medal, but the path I took to get it'," said Manuela Di Centa, Olympic champion in skiing, member of the IOC and the IOC's Athletes' Commission and member of the Italian Parliament, during her presentation in Busan.

    Qatar's Ali Bin Ali Accepts Place on IPC Honorary Board

    Hassan Ali Bin Ali, chairman of the Doha 2016 bid and chairperson of the Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs, has accepted a position on the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) honorary board.

    Ali Bin Ali will join current members that include royalty from several nations as well as business leaders from institutions such as the World Bank. He will be helping the IPC to spread the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

    "I am honoured to be part of this distinguished board which serves a great purpose of raising public awareness and funding for the Paralympic Movement. I would like to thank Sir Philip and his Board for giving me the opportunity to participate in a movement that ensures the issue of sports for people with a disability is high on the agenda of every country."

    Play the Game Wins Gerlev Award

    Since 1978, the Gerlev Physical Education and Sports Academy has recognized individuals from home and abroad with what has become one of Denmark's most prestigious sports awards.

    The award is given "for an effort which has particularly developed the qualities of sport or of the views on sport's cultural position and possibilities. The award is given in order to encourage freedom of expression and democracy and to support initiatives that dare dispute the established sports political order." This is the 30th anniversary of the award.

    "We are deeply grateful for this acknowledgement, not only because it serves to inspire and delight the few of us on the inside of the institution, but because it has a much farther outreach," said Play the Game Director Jens Sejer Andersen. "The award is a well-deserved recognition to the many, many individuals worldwide who have fought and still keep fighting lonely battles to make the sports community more sensitive to honesty and truth."

    Chinese Athletes Sell Gear for Sichuan Province

    Diver Guo Jingjing's blue swimsuit sold for $43,800 at a recent auction for earthquake victims. (Getty Images)
    Twenty-three Chinese athletes auctioned off everything from swimsuits to ping pong paddles Tuesday. The funds, which totaled roughly $600,000, will mainly be used for sports infrastructure for the quake-stricken region.

    The highest selling item, at roughly $146,000, was a stamp collection signed by all of the athletes participating in the sale. Other hot items were female table tennis champion Zhang Yining's ping pong paddle ($58,400) and gold medal diver Guo Jingjing's blue swimsuit ($43,800). Gymnast Zou Kai originally planned to sell one of his gold medals, but that sell will be handled by an auction house instead.

    The May 12 earthquake left more than 80,000 people dead or missing, more than 10 million homeless and 360,000 others injured.

    USEF Seeks Entries for Pegasus Awards

    The USEF is taking applications for the 2008 Pegasus Awards for Media. The awards, presented annually, honor achievement in seven categories for the coverage of equestrian sports, issues or lifestyle in the United States.

    Categories for the award include best publication, article, Web site and photograph. One of the seven winners will receive the Daniel P. Lenehan Memorial Trophy for Overall Excellence. In addition, one winner will be selected from all of the mainstream press entries to receive the 2008 President's Award for Media Excellence.

    Entries will be accepted at the USEF office in Lexington, Ky. until 5 p.m. Nov. 7. The awards will be presented at the USEF annual meeting in January 2009.

    Free Tea and Biscuits at Heathrow Airport

    For one week in November, Waitrose, a U.K.-based supermarket chain, will offer incoming travelers at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 a free cup of tea and a plate of biscuits.

    The campaign, sponsored by VisitBritain, will provide 5,000 cups of English Breakfast tea each day with the hope that it will make Britain more cheerful.
    If successful, the effort could move to all of Britain's airports before London 2012.

    Written by
    Trista McGlamery

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